By Stuart Kovacs
On Monday afternoon, the Rider field hockey team improved its season record to 6-1 after it defeated the UC Davis Aggies in overtime by a score of 2-1.
Despite outshooting UC Davis by a 23-8 margin, the Broncs trailed the Aggies for most of the game. However, Rider was able to tie the score at 1-1 with three minutes remaining in regulation because of a goal scored by senior forward Gabby Burgo.
Burgo’s goal was a result of a missed shot by senior Jackie Adams that deflected off of the goalie. Burgo was then able to run up to the left post and hit the ball into the net.
“I knew that we were not going to walk away with anything but a win and if I hadn’t put the ball in the cage, I know that one of my teammates would have,” Burgo said. “We worked extremely hard to earn our win with UC Davis and I am proud of each and every one of my teammates.”
Head Coach Lori Hussong is happy with Burgo’s performance this season, as she provides a spark on offense.
“Gabby has been so clutch for us this season,” Hussong said. “We are so happy to see her hard work pay off for her and [I] know that she will continue to be a key ingredient to our success.”
After the Broncs tied the game, the outcome had to be settled in overtime. Six minutes into the extra frame, junior Sandra Penas scored the game-winning goal after receiving a pass from Adams.
Hussong understands that Penas has had to deal with her opponents focusing on her and trying to take her out of the game.
“Sandra has had to work twice as hard this year than in the past two seasons to get free and get her shots on goal,” Hussong said. “Every game she is double and triple teamed when making her run to the goal and she is maturing into a take charge player for us on the field.”
With seven games in the books, the Broncs have only four more games before conference play begins. The first of these games occurs at home on Saturday when they take on Lock Haven.
Hussong is looking forward to a tough battle with Lock Haven who has a 6-3 record this season. She believes it will be a good test for her team as it approaches the start of the games in the Northeast Conference.
“We know Lock Haven always comes ready to play,” Hussong said. “We need to play our game, and keep the ball out of our defensive end, and in our attacking zone as much as possible. We look forward to playing them as these types of games will definitely prepare us for our conference run.”
Burgo knows that she and her teammates will have to play at a high level in order to come away with a victory on Saturday. However, she is confident that they won’t let up regardless of the situation.
“I know Lock Haven will be a demanding game for us,” Burgo said. “They are not a team to take lightly by any means because they are skilled and very aggressive. I know that we will walk off the field knowing we gave it everything we’ve got. That is most important to us.”